Venues

95 Keerom

95 Keerom
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Cost
R190 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Fine-dining food, Italian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Greg Landman

Food
Giorgio Nava has been holding sway here for many years: urbane and a talented chef to boot – a formidable combination. This popular place continues to attract aficionados who know a good thing when they see it. Try the beef tartare, one of the best in town, hand chopped (is there any other way?) anointed with the finest olive oil from Morgenster and the rest of the essentials, a triumph. Then there are the carpaccios, as thin as the finest lace, you can see right through them, beef drizzled with mayonnaise, or one with fresh tomato and rocket, or palm hearts and parmesan cheese. The carpaccio of fresh Norwegian salmon is a sublime alternative. Try the seared carpaccios for something different. Pasta fatta in casa includes fabulous ravioli stuffed with butternut or spinach topped with sage butter and parmesan and gnocchi with a rich gorgonzola sauce with chopped walnuts. Much of the meat are from Giorgio’s own farms and come in many different forms with great sauces. The osso buco served with polenta is worth leaving home for. Desserts of tiramisu and baba au rhum make for a satisfying conclusion to a delightful course.

Drinks
They boast an excellent wine list featuring many Cape treasures and a good Italian selection. Top French champagnes like Krug are also available, though not cheaply.

Service 
Smooth and pleasant with Giorgio often there himself taking orders.

Ambience
Coolly comfortable with plenty of light wood furnishings, relaxed in the sophisticated Italian manner. On the top floor a tree grows charmingly in the centre of the room. Cosy and warm in winter, especially in the small spaces downstairs, just the place for an intimate meal with someone special.

And...
Parking can be a bind so go into Queen Victoria Street where there is a parking lot behind the building.

(September 2016)

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  • Ishay Govender-Ypma

    Food
    On any given evening, you’ll be hard pressed to find and open table upstairs (or a parking spot in the road) at this ever popular restaurant. The menu has remained the same for years, and if there is a downfall, this is probably it. Regulars will disagree, being loyal to the well-loved array of carpaccio, particularly the signature Il Carpaccio “95” with rocket and shavings of Parmesan cheese; there’s a seared line fish too, prepared in a similar fashion. The small plate of award-winning pasta (it won at the World Pasta Championship competition in 2013) consisting of cavatelli, broccoli cream, anchovies and oregano flowers, if available, is a must. It shows an elegant simplicity and embodies Nava’s yearning for classic, uncomplicated Italian fare. The sliced prime rib with garlic and olive oil is a very good choice, and the same goes for the ossobuco (one of the best in the city) and the veal cutlet with butter and sage. The crayfish pasta is a little disappointing for the price. If tiramisu is your flavour, 95 Keerom does a feather-light, dreamy version to end the meal on a sweet note.

    Drinks
    They offer an extensive wine list with excellent Italian wines by the glass. It’s a good way to try those varietals that aren’t too easy to find in South Africa.

    Service
    From the welcome at the front door, and valet parking (if you’re lucky enough to have nabbed a spot), through to seating, the service is slick. It can be a little hard to flag staff down once the restaurant fills up.

    Ambience
    Swish and elegant, the restaurant is accustomed to a moneyed crowd. The restaurant remains stylish with its clean lines, distinctly Milanese aesthetic of Milan-born chef Giorgio Nava, and soft ambient lighting. The tree that emerges through the floor upstairs pays homage, in a way, to the storied history of the space, once part of the stables and lodging of the Company Garden’s slaves. Segments of original brickwork and facades have been carefully preserved. Here you’ll find advocates and lawyers from the neighbouring chambers concluding business over expertly made meals, but also courting couples and small groups enjoying celebrations. This is the ideal setting for a romantic night out.

    And …
    Opt for the rich, buttery polenta with Parmesan to accompany your mains. But do share!

    (August 2015)

  • Eat Out

    Food 
    Authentic, really well-made Italian food is the name of the game here. From the interesting range of carpaccios and tartares available as starters, through to the various pastas and expertly presented mains, it’s really hard to make a wrong order decision at this restaurant. Start by enjoying the fresh flavours of a beef tartare with rocket and parmesan shavings, or perhaps the fish tartare of tuna and salmon served with creamy avocado – delicious. Fans (and there are many) rave about the very tasty butternut ravioli with sage butter; and the gnocchi with gorgonzola manages to be rich and creamy but still perfectly light – perhaps the best gnocchi in town. As for the meatier fare, the lamb chops are a hit, but the same goes for almost all of the meaty dishes – the fillet with olive oil and rosemary is sliced and grilled to perfection, and goes wonderfully with a choice of bean salad. Seafood also gets the star treatment here: a beautifully seared serving of Norwegian salmon simply melts in the mouth. Desserts include semifreddo, gelato and the now famous chocolate fondant, which just never gets old.

    Drinks 
    A nice if expensive selection. You can order a few MCCs by the glass and the list also features an Italian section, which adds an authentic touch.

    Service 
    Friendly and gracious reception upon arrival and departure; however, the rest of the experience can seem a touch distracted at times. It can be hard to catch a waiter’s eye. Some thoughtful attention here would not go amiss.

    Ambience
    This remains one of the most stylish restaurants in town, with clean lines, pale wood, an enormous glass front facing the city and that old, famed olive tree now in its senior years. The atmosphere is relaxed and cosmopolitan, with several overseas languages drifting through the air. A touch of background music won’t go amiss, though – if you get there early in the evening there’s only the hum of the air con and the bar fridge to keep you company …

    And...
    The small downstairs bar should not be overlooked: it’s a lovely spot to enjoy an excellent martini before heading upstairs for dinner.

    (August 2014)

  • Authentic but unfussy Italian food in a stylish, romantic setting. The reputation of chef-patron Giorgio Nava is thoroughly deserved – his insistence on perfection is reflected in every dish. Highlights include butternut and ricotta ravioli; beef carpaccio; gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts; and molten chocolate fondant. (Eat Out magazine 2014)
  • Food
    Lauded restaurateur Giorgio Nava brings you classic Italian cooking that is delicate, with prime emphasis on fresh ingredients and simplicity. Several dishes have garnered a fan base over the years, including the carpaccio in various styles, the butternut ravioli with sage butter, and the rolled pork topped with mushroom sauce.

    Wine
    Extensive South African and Italian wines at various price points. Good opportunity to try a chianti.

    Service
    Experienced, attentive staff.

    Ambience
    Sophisticated, but warm. The tree upstairs adds an enchanted feeling to the experience. The restaurant fills up with business types and couples on special dates.

    And...
    Do not miss the soft polenta with Parmesan. The fall-apart slow-cooked springbok in tomato sauce is perfect on a cold night. (IGY, October 2012)
  • Bernadette Le Roux

    The atmosphere lends itself perfectly to a business meeting at lunchtime; it can be stark otherwise during the day. Recommended for a romantic meal or meal with friends, dinner is best. It’s elegant and atmospheric at night. Food is authentic and truly exceptional. You can't go wrong with the pasta dishes, which are all handmade on the premises. I have been eating at 95 Keerom since they opened some years back now. It has to be one of the most consistent restaurants around and has become a true Cape Town establishment. I recommend the butternut ravioli with burnt butter and sage and all of the carpaccio starters. (July 2013)
  • Jeanne Calitz

    I love the food at this consistently excellent restaurant. Every year my husband asks where I want to go for my birthday supper, and every year I say, “Please take me to 95 Keerom.” The food is wonderful and not overly fussy, which I love. The location – that olive tree, all that glass and warm wood finishes – is so stylish. And the staff treat you like a rock star. Recommended for a romantic date. Best dishes? How much time do you have? The hunk of burrata mozzarella in the caprese salad is so fresh and creamy, it nearly brings me to tears. My husband is equally infatuated with the beef carpaccio with fresh tomato and rocket. The gnocchi with gorgonzola and walnuts will change forever your perception of gnocchi. And the desserts? Well just let me say, my kingdom for that chocolate soufflé! (July 2013)
  • Anelde Greeff

    Chef and owner Giorgio Nava is a genius. This is definitely one of the highlights on the Cape Town dining scene. An institution, 95 Keerom is one of those places that I keep going back to. Recommended for a romantic date and the chocolate fondant. (July 2013)
  • Sam Woulidge

    95 Keerom gets it consistently right. Authentic Italian food in sophisticated surroundings. Recommended for a romantic date, the butternut and ricotta ravioli, carpaccio and the molten chocolate dessert. (July 2013)

User reviews

  • I couldn't agree more with some of the reviews, the owner Giorgio has taken off his focus from Keuroom 95. There seems to be no management, and if there is, no interest in the client anymore. As regular clients we recently had a rather bizarre experience. We left by mistake ZAR 2000,00 on the table, realised the mistake outside, phoned immediately and the money was gone already. We had paid tip already generously by credit card. As the managing director of Penguin Tours we regularly bring clients to Keuroom 95. I left 4 messages with various managers for the owner Giorgio to please call me back, but none was returned. I finally phoned him myself, he promised a follow up, and again, he did not bother to call back. We will certainly not recommend Keuroom 95 to any of our clients anymore, neither are we going there for dinner ourselves again. It seems like somebody is covering up for something. Like one can see so often in the hospitality industry, lack of management and interest by the owner send this place down.....
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  • I agree with Chris Read, the owner has taken his eye off this estabishment. The management is really bad, the place is dirty especially the toilets. The serving staff is arrogant, and incompetent, they pay NO attention to getting orders right. Food is not what it used to be. Once a favourite, now I would even think of going back.. was really a unpleasant experience.
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  • 95 Keerom is located at the end of a downtown street and across from its sister restaurant Carne. The building is quite old, and originally used to house slaves. Most recently it housed a law office. Some of the interior has been restored, which makes it quaint as well as a little eerie, Upon our arrival, we were informed that due to the roving blackouts, power may be cut off in an hour. Fast forward, luckily the power was never cut off. The menu is quite extensive. We started with the Insalata Caprese which was your basic tomato, mozzarella and basil salad. However, this salad was not basic because the mozzarella was some of the best I've tasted; extremely creamy. We also tried the Pasta Geogio which was an entry in the World Pasta Championship. This was a generous portion of small pasta shells with broccoli puree, anchovies, fresh tomato, bread crumbs and oregano. Excellent dish but very filling for a starter so it's a good idea to share it. We both had La Selvaggina as our main entrée, which consisted of black wildebeest, kudu, springbok grilled rare to medium rare with olive oil and rosemary. All of the meats were tender and delicious. We were extremely pleased with our selections but unfortunately had no room to try their homemade desserts. With the food and service both of high caliber, this restaurant comes highly recommended and is extremely reasonable in cost when compared to restaurants in US and Europe. Even if you are from South Africa, splurge, it's well worth every penny (rand).
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  • Last night was one of the best meals i have had in a long time. We did not have a reservation, but the manager asked us to sit at the bar while he tried to make a plan for us. 10 minutes later we had one, and it was definitely worth the wait. May Carpaccio was perfection, Osso Bucco one of the best I have had, and the chocolate fondant is to die for. Simple, discreet service which was prompt, but not hurried, good wine recommendations, and the manager was all over the place at all times, constantly checking to see if everyone had what they needed. I was very impressed and will definitely be back!
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  • It's is really sad when your favorite restaurant no longer comes up to par! The menu is the same as it was three years ago and in my opinion needs a refresh please. The atmosphere on the night we went was cold and has definitely changed for the worse! The service was good but the waiters were almost soulless.

    With respect to the food our starters were disappointing - the seared carpaccio was watery and the tomato and rocket over powered the dish. Our mains were good - the lamb chops were excellent and the rib eye steak was very tasty but not special!

    Unfortunately, I think Giorgio has taken his eye off his jewel in his crown and maybe needs to come back and weave some new magic back into the restaurant!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair

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